Being huge fans of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, when we first heard about The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines we knew it was a must have. So when F+W Media offered us the opportunity to receive a copy in exchange for our honest opinion of the book we jumped on the offer so that we could share it with our faithful readers.
First let me start by saying that this is an unofficial and unauthorized book. So if you were hoping to see images from the film sprinkled throughout the pages, you’ll be disappointed. A mockingjay inspired watermark image treatment is repeated throughout the book to carry on the feel of The Hunger Games and the font treatment is similar to that from the book series. But that’s where the imagery ends.
And speaking of imagery. . . I’ve grown accustomed to colorful food images in cookbooks that get me salivating. So I was a bit disappointed to find that this was published merely in black ink on a muted, matte medium paper stock and, outside of the previously mentioned watermark, there is no imaging to be found. But then again, the district dwellers probably wouldn’t have fancy cookbooks available to them, so we can chalk that up to keeping the book “in character.”
The book itself is a sturdy printed hardcover. Its pages are firm enough to allow you to easily flip through recipes, but the matte paper could be stain prone as it doesn’t offer the protection that slick paper often does.
I will say that I think this is a great tool for anyone looking to throw their own The Hunger Games inspired party. As someone that regularly throws themed parties with themed menus, I believe this cookbook is a valuable asset to help Hunger Games fans easily present a robust menu for their party guests.
The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook offers more than 150 recipes inspired by The Hunger Games trilogy. The culinary concoctions presented include breakfast selections, breads, soups, stews, salads, “humble foods,” meat entrees, and desserts. Each is introduced by insights on how the recipe connects to the trilogy and references the book and chapter from which its inspiration stems. Helpful suggestions and insights are also featured for each recipe and are showcased in off-set boxes cleverly titled “Tips from Your Sponsor.”
Most of the recipes build off of many kitchens’ cooking and baking supply staples. However, be sure to check your ingredients ahead of time and be prepared to hit the store for some specialty items that will be needed as you journey through the dishes offered up in the book.
For the hunters out there, the cookbook also features meals to incorporate wild game selections such as wild dog, rabbit, venison, and squirrel. But for people who aren’t game about wild meat options, common meats are offered as substitute options for these selections.
The book wraps with a detailed exploration of various herbs, followed by a user-friendly index to help you easily locate your favorite recipes and utilize the foods available in your pantry.
Baines notes that “this cookbook serves as a portal into Katniss’s two worlds—one of luxury and pampering, and one of hardship and labor. Regardless of which world you choose to cook from, the recipes in this cookbook are a fun and delicious way for you and your family to transport yourselves alongside Katniss, Petta, and Gale while they fight for their freedom—and the right to a full stomach.”
Overall, I found this to offer some unique recipes that take me further into the whirlwind of The Hunger Games fandom. It is a perfect bookshelf addition for any Hunger Games fan.